Qualifying: Another Red Bull lock-out
Pole position was still heading Red Bull's way, but exceptionally, Mark Webber prevailed against reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel. Fernando Alonso in third place was little more than a tenth of a second adrift, a gap that has never been so close in the last couple of seasons, and Felipe Massa wasn't too far behind either. At the same time, the two Ferraris opened up a clear lead on McLaren. Jenson Button had to be content with fifth place, while Paul di Resta and Pastor Maldonado were the surprise packages in sixth and seventh.
Michael Schumacher and Nick Heidfeld failed to progress beyond Q2. Toro Rosso bombed badly in Q1, because Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi took a gamble on hard tyres for their first runs and a sudden rain shower then deprived them of the chance to improve their times. One driver who benefited from the weather was Heikki Kovalainen who made the cut for Q2 and will be starting from 17th on Sunday.
F1 debutant Daniel Ricciardo finished his first qualifying as tail-ender, but at least the Australian had no problem in clearing the 107-percent hurdle.